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Hired in plant insurance

Join over 900,000 small businesses like you with cover from £3.49 per month*

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  • Compare hired in plant insurance from trusted brands
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Rated 4.8/5

Based on 39,802 reviews

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Claims paid in 24 hours

For 80% of settled claims

What's on this page

  • Why is insurance important?
  • What does it cover?
  • How much does it cost?
  • How do I choose insurance?
  • How do claims work?
  • FAQs
  • Helpful articles

Why is hired in plant insurance important?

Hired-in or your own, plant cover is a specialist type of plant and machinery insurance, built to cover larger equipment like a digger or forklift. These bits of kit often carry a high price tag and specific set of risks, so expert cover is a popular back-stop for potentially expensive claims.

Need own plant insurance for machinery belonging to you? We provide this too, just select ’own plant’ when building your quote.

  • digger insurance (including mini diggers) for your essential hired equipment
  • cover for theft or flooding, plus public liability for accidents and injuries
  • own plant insurance also available – just tell us what you need

Start your quote

What does hired in plant insurance cover?

Hired-in or your own, plant insurance is designed to help cover expensive costs and charges, if your equipment gets damaged, lost, or stolen. From diggers to forklifts, this can be on-site or in transit, and usually comes as part of a tradesman insurance policy, which includes popular covers like public liability insurance, and employers’ liability, if you need it.


What does this cover?

  • any item of plant machinery stolen from your property or site

When would I need to make a claim for theft?

  • an excavator is stolen during an overnight break-in at your works site
  • you’re parked up for a break at a service station and thieves steal a generator from your trailer

What you'll need additional cover for:

  • you’ll usually need to add contract works insurance to your policy, to be covered for plant machinery that’s stolen from your building site. You can do this easily when getting your quote


What does this cover?

  • water damage to your hired (or own) plant machinery

When would I need to make a claim?

  • your storage unit is flooded during a heavy downpour, damaging your hired cement mixers and generator beyond repair

Public liability insurance

In case you or your employee injure someone or damage their property.

What's public liability insurance?

Cover designed to protect your business against claims for property damage, injury, or illness, whether or not you’re at fault.

For example:

  • you drill through a water pipe while working on a new build development site, causing extensive damage
  • while working on a client’s extension, you accidentally drive your digger into their fencing, causing damage to their neighbour’s property

Read more about public liability insurance

Employers’ liability insurance

In case an employee gets sick or injured while working for you.

What's employers’ liability insurance?

Built to cover your business if an employee gets injured or ill as a result of working for you, including temps and casual workers.

**Employers’ liability insurance is required by law if you have people working for you. Without it, you could be fined up to £2,500 a day for each employee.**

For example:

  • a contractor working for you gets injured while digging foundations for a new build development, and needs a month off work
  • your employee catches their foot on a pneumatic drill, and needs hospital treatment

This content has been created for general information purposes. Make sure you have the right level of business insurance by checking your policy documentation for details. Read our full Terms and Conditions

How much does hired plant insurance cost?

Find out how much you’ll pay by comparing prices from a range of trusted insurers. You choose what goes into your policy, so you only pay for what you need.

Prices start from £3.49 per month

Get your quotes in 7 minutes – prices are guaranteed for 30 days.

Get your tailored quotes in 7 minutes

Start your quote

*The price is for £1 million of public liability insurance - 10% of customers paid £41.87 or less annually between 1st Oct 2023 - 31st Mar 2024. Equivalent to £3.49/month (and excludes the extra costs for paying monthly). If you complete a quote more types of cover will be available, these all have additional costs.

Example hired in plant insurance quotes, real prices

elements insurance

£16.94 /month

£149.44 /year

A small groundworking firm who use a variety of owned and hired-in plant machinery, with one office-based employee

  • 2-3 years' experience
  • Sole trader
  • No employees
  • Based in Birkenhead
  • Public liability


  • Employers’ liability

    Not included

  • Stock

    Not included

elements insurance

£147.18 /month

£1308.25 /year

A self-employed builder using hired-in plant machinery for work on residential properties

  • 5+ years' experience
  • Limited company
  • 4 employees
  • Based in Leicester
  • Public liability


  • Employers’ liability


  • Owned Plant


  • Hired-in plant


How we work out example quotes These examples are real quotes from our online system (created 02/03/2023). They’re based on a range of factors, like employees and location. Your own quote will be based on what you tell us about your business. Prices may go up or down from day to day, so the prices you’re quoted may differ to the ones you see here.

What kind of excess should I expect?

An excess is an amount you pay towards any claim you make on your insurance. For example, if your excess is £250 and you make a claim worth £1000, your payout will be a maximum of £750.

Insurance cover

Lowest excess

Highest excess

Public liability



Employers' liability

No excess

No excess







Business and office equipment



The figures above are for guidance only and any excess applying to your quote may differ. You’ll get a breakdown of the excesses for each quote when you compare with us.

How it works

  • Pick what goes into your policy

    Only pay for what you need

  • Get prices from a range of insurers

    Choose the best fit for you

  • Buy online in minutes

    Get your documents the same day

Start your quote

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How do I choose insurance?

Making sure you have the right type and level of business insurance can be the difference between getting a claim paid and having to cover the cost of an expensive accident yourself. Read our tips for guidance on what to consider when buying a policy.

Can I just cover my most expensive tools?

Make sure you cover the total cost of replacing all your tools or you’ll only get a proportion of your claim paid out if something happens to them. Learn about tool cover.

Will tools insurance cover all my equipment?

Depending on what you use to do your work, you may need other covers.

You may need more than tools insurance – for example, business equipment insurance if you have a work laptop, plant insurance if you use machinery.

Does hired in plant insurance cover my work correctly?

Make sure you're picking the right cover to protect you properly. It's important to know that if you have another trade or job, you'll need additional cover. For example, do you need to consider groundworkers insurance or builders insurance?

Do I need cover for other types of work?

If you provide other services, make sure you’re covered:

Other types of insurance

Talk to an expert

Our team of UK-based insurance experts are here to help, Mon 09.00am - 05.30pm, Tues 09.00am - 05.30pm, Weds 09.00am - 05.30pm, Thurs 09.30am - 05.30pm, Fri 09.00am - 05.30pm, Sat 09.00am - 02.00pm

Call our team

0333 043 8527


Contact us on our website whenever suits you


Call our insurance experts during office hours (calls are charged at a local rate)


Find answers to common insurance questions

How do hired in plant insurance claims work?

Unlike price comparison websites, we take the hassle out of claims for you. We know how important it is to get your business back on track quickly – and with a minimum of fuss. That’s why you get access to your dedicated claims any time, day or night. Call them on 0333 207 0560 or claim online. They’ll do their best to be fair and supportive.

The figure above is rounded across our range of products. "Settled" covers paid, declined or withdrawn. Our claims process may vary for different products and operates on a ‘claim by claim’ basis. Our specialist partner Sedgwick will pay the claims on behalf of the insurer. Reviewed on 24/04/2024.

£51 million in claims paid out in 2023

83% of claims were settled in 2023

Example hired plant insurance claim

Having plant insurance through Simply Business has saved small business owners thousands of pounds when the unexpected happened.

Andy saved more than £15,800

Andy (not his real name) reported an electrical fire at his rented workshop, caused by a small cooker. The fire caused significant damage to his tools, including items of hired plant and equipment. The optional hired-in plant insurance in Andy’s tradesman insurance policy helped cover the hire company’s charges.

  • Insurance payout


    Covering the cost of fire damage

  • Andy’s costs


    The excess amount stated in Andy’s policy terms

Chosen by 900,000 small businesses and landlords

We started out as a team of five back in 2005. We’ve grown since then with 900,000 customers across 1,500 trades now trusting us to provide their business insurance.

  • Compare and buy in minutes

    Documents arrive today

  • Rated 4.8/5

    Based on 39,802 reviews

  • Here to help

    Help from UK-based experts

  • 24/7 claims

    Make a claim any time

Hired in plant insurance FAQs

Whether you’re new to buying insurance or you’ve been operating your business for a while, here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about plant hire insurance. You can also check out our business insurance FAQs.

  • This will depend on your individual situation – for example whether you own the forklift yourself, or hire it – and what type of forklift you’re insuring. This type of plant does tend to be expensive, with new forklifts costing tens of thousands of pounds to buy. And with specific vehicle insurance being a legal requirement if you’re driving it on a public road, and often a requirement even on private land, cover is an important aspect.

  • Yes. We insure various types of mini diggers, from smaller excavators to more industrial-level equipment. Your mini digger insurance can factor in theft, public liability and employers’ liability risks, as well as disasters like fire and flood.

  • Plant insurance covers your own plant and equipment against risks like fire, flooding, and theft – these items are often more expensive than your other tools, and financial losses can run into tens of thousands of pounds. Plant hire insurance is slightly different, and works to help with the costs attached to loss or damage to plant and equipment you’ve hired-in.

  • You can choose the payment type that suits your business and cash flow best. Some customers prefer to pay in one go, while others prefer to pay a regular monthly amount, like you do with lots of other bills. Simply Business offer three ways to pay for your policy:

    • one-off credit or debit card payment
    • BACS payment
    • Direct Debit

    If you choose to pay by Direct Debit, our credit provider, Premium Credit, pays Simply Business the full amount for your policy up front. You then repay Premium Credit in 10 monthly instalments.

  • This will depend on whether you have employers’ liability insurance in place. Public liability insurance is designed to protect your business against the consequences of legal action brought by members of the public for injuries or damage to their belongings. But when it comes to your employees causing injury or damage, this protection only activates if you also have employers’ liability insurance.

    If you employ people, you’re required by law to have employers’ liability insurance.

    There’s one exception here. Family businesses that aren’t incorporated as a limited company are not legally required to have employers’ liability insurance. The government defines a “family business” as one where all your employees are closely related to you (as a spouse, civil partner, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, step-parent, stepchild or half-sibling). So if you run an unincorporated family business and you choose not to get employers’ liability insurance, it’s important to know that your public liability insurance wouldn’t cover you against damage or injury caused by your team.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always check policy documentation for details and seek professional advice. Read our full Terms and Conditions

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